Cognitive effects of the dopamine receptor agonist pergolide

Neuropsychologia. 2003;41(8):1020-7. doi: 10.1016/s0028-3932(02)00317-2.


Although dopamine has been closely associated with prefrontal function, and with working memory in monkeys, the effects of dopamine agonists on human cognitive performance are poorly understood. We report the effects of a single dose of pergolide on young healthy subjects performing a variety of cognitive tests, including tests of memory and of frontal/executive function. Across this battery of tasks, the only tasks reliably affected by pergolide were delayed response tasks. Across four variants, we observed that the effect of pergolide was more beneficial for subjects with greater working memory capacities. We discuss this in light of the variable results obtained from previous studies of dopamine agonists in human subjects.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Association Learning / drug effects
  • Cognition / drug effects*
  • Cognition / physiology
  • Dopamine Agonists / pharmacology*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory, Short-Term / drug effects
  • Neuropsychological Tests
  • Pergolide / pharmacology*
  • Psychomotor Performance
  • Reaction Time / drug effects
  • Reading
  • Space Perception / drug effects
  • Verbal Learning / drug effects


  • Dopamine Agonists
  • Pergolide